Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus

The Bulrush of The Bible, Nile Grass, Paper Reed, Papirus, Papierriet (Afr.)

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A wetland clump-forming plant with tall bare stems and a mop-like crown or head of thread-like leaves or spikelets. It can grow up to 5m tall and heavy heads bed downwards under their own weight. They occur naturally in swamps and wetlands throughout Africa and some Mediterranean countries. It is used as building material and the rhizomes can be eaten raw or cooked. A wetland plant for gardens, adding height to the landscape. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

The roots are harvested for consumption by humans. Divisions and new shoots can be removed in spring time for propagation purposes.

Propagation

Division

Divide the rhizomes and replant.

Rhizomes

Divide the thick rhizomes with stems cut back and replant in wet soil.

Seed

Sow seed in Spring.

Special features

Attracts birds

Birds use the tuffs as material for nest building.

Pot plant

Planting it in a pot in a pond will help to contain it to one area.

Wet sites

Well suited to grow in wetlands.

Attractive leaves

The leaves make interesting soft balls at the end of long stems.

Special features

Origin

Africa

Natural climate

Wetlands in temperate and subtropical regions.

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Wet

Soil type

Sand, Loam, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Makes a good feature plant near water.

Raw material

In Ancient Egypt, papyrus was used for various of purposes such as baskets, sandals, blankets, medicine, incense, and boats. The woody root was used to make bowls and utensils, and was burned for fuel.

Edible

The roots are edible raw or cooked.

Environmental value

It has environmental value. With the quantities it grows in and having its roots in the water, it plays an important role in the cleaning of the environment and regulation of the ecosystem.

Personality

Family

Cyperaceae

Flower colour

Brown, Insignificant

Scent

None

Problems

Problem free

Companion plants

Credits

profile iconCyperus papyrus
by Clare Archer, National Herbarium, Pretoria, May 2004 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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